Catholic and Greek Orthodox wedding

Status
Not open for further replies.
G

Gene_Z

Guest
A cousin of mine is non-practicing Catholic. He is getting married to a non-practicing Eastern Orthodox. The Catholic party is getting married in the Eastern Orthodox Church. I understand that a dispensation from form is needed for laiceity (sp?) but not validity? If the Catholic party does not get a dispensation, would it be ok to attend this wedding since the marriage would be considered valid.
 
Gene Z.:
A cousin of mine is non-practicing Catholic. He is getting married to a non-practicing Eastern Orthodox. The Catholic party is getting married in the Eastern Orthodox Church. I understand that a dispensation from form is needed for laiceity (sp?) but not validity? If the Catholic party does not get a dispensation, would it be ok to attend this wedding since the marriage would be considered valid.
ALL Orthodox sacraments taken by Catholics are VALID and effecacious.

However if an Orthodox (within the age of reason) takes Orthodox sacraments or Catholic sacraments, it would only be valid but would not be effecacious.

Differentiate between validity and efficacy. The sacraments from Orthodox Churches (not in full communion with Roman Pontiff)) and Catholic Church would be valid because both have valid apostolic sucession.

However the efficacy would depends on the recipient of the sacrament. Since member of the Orthodox Church (within the age of reason) are in de facto schism, then the efficacy is hindered

Council of Florence:
*It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. *
 
My understadning is that illicit sacraments can be efficacious for one in material schism, though never for someone in a state of formal schism.

That having been said, I don’t see what this has to do with Gene’s question.

As far as marriage is concerned, the Orthodox are no different from Protestants. This is because, in and of itself, the sacrament does not require a priest to affect its validity. The ministers of Matrimony are not the ordained priest, but the bride and groom.

The Church however, with the authority given her by Christ, has added other requirements to making a marriage valid. One of these is that, for a mixed marriage, approval must be given by the Catholic Ordinary. Without this, the marriage is both illict and invalid. Here’s what the Code of Canon Law says on the subject:
Canon 1124. Without express permission of the competent authority, a marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons of whom one is baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act and the other of whom is enrolled in a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Canon 1125. The local ordinary can grant a permission of this kind if there is a just and reasonable cause . . .
Canon 1127 §1. The prescripts of ⇒ can. 1108 are to be observed for the form to be used in a mixed marriage. Nevertheless, if a Catholic party contracts marriage with a non-Catholic party of an Eastern rite, the canonical form of the celebration must be observed for liceity only; for validity, however, the presence of a sacred minister is required and the other requirements of law are to be observed.
This last part I find really confusing. I don’t know why it means; nor do I see why there should be an exception for the schismatic Eastern Chuches, since marriage, in itself, has nothing to do with the sacred orders of a priest.

Maybe one of the staff apologists can help us out.
 
Gene Z.:
A cousin of mine is non-practicing Catholic. He is getting married to a non-practicing Eastern Orthodox. The Catholic party is getting married in the Eastern Orthodox Church. I understand that a dispensation from form is needed for laiceity (sp?) but not validity? If the Catholic party does not get a dispensation, would it be ok to attend this wedding since the marriage would be considered valid.
Nope, the marriage would be invalid and sinful

Catholic are bound by canonical form. Doesn’t matter if the Easter Orthodox sacraments are valid or no, this is not a question of the Eucharist. Protestants have valid marriage.

Under Catholic theology the spouses minister the sacraments to each other.

A Catholic to have a VALID marriage must receive a dispensation to marry outside of their parish Church and without a priest officiating (Catholic priest). Also, to marry a non Catholic the Catholic must sitgn a statement promising to raise children as Catholics and the non-Catholic must be informed of this statement.

Two protestants or two Orthodox marry validily without canonical form as canonical form binds Catholics only.
 
*The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism * (153) clears this up:

“A marriage between a Catholic and a member of an Eastern Church is valid if it has taken place with the celebration of a religious rite by an ordained minister, as long as any other requirements of law for validity have been observed. For lawfulness in these cases, the canonical form of celebration is to be observed. Canonical form is required for the validity of marriages between Catholics and Christians of Churches and ecclesial Communities.”

To foster better relations with the Eastern Churches, “the law makes an exception… for marriages which are celebrated between a Catholic and a non-Catholic of Oriental Rite: in these cases, the requirement of the canonical form pertains only to the lawfulness of the celebration, not to its validity.” (From The Canon Law Letter & Spirit, A Practical Guide to the Code of Canon Law)

Back to the original question, I would be less concerned about attending a wedding that the Catholic Church considers valid, though illicit, than one which is invalid. For questions about whether to attend or participate in an invalid wedding, see Should I Attend?: 216.239.53.104/search?q=cache:pZSr7jBT5C0J:www.cuf.org/nonmemb/attend.pdf+should+i+attend&hl=en

Jim Blackburn
Catholic Answers Apologist
 
Thank you Mr. Blackburn for both your timely response and the link Should I Attend? It has helped me greatly. God bless.
 
Mr. Blackburn:

I’m more confused than ever. If a Catholic is not dispensed by his Ordinary, would his marriage to an Orthodox be valid?
 
40.png
DominvsVobiscvm:
My understadning is that illicit sacraments can be efficacious for one in material schism, though never for someone in a state of formal schism.

That having been said, I don’t see what this has to do with Gene’s question.

As far as marriage is concerned, the Orthodox are no different from Protestants. This is because, in and of itself, the sacrament does not require a priest to affect its validity. The ministers of Matrimony are not the ordained priest, but the bride and groom.

The Church however, with the authority given her by Christ, has added other requirements to making a marriage valid. One of these is that, for a mixed marriage, approval must be given by the Catholic Ordinary. Without this, the marriage is both illict and invalid. Here’s what the Code of Canon Law says on the subject:

This last part I find really confusing. I don’t know why it means; nor do I see why there should be an exception for the schismatic Eastern Chuches, since marriage, in itself, has nothing to do with the sacred orders of a priest.

Maybe one of the staff apologists can help us out.
That is not about the Schismatic Eastern Orthodox Churches, but about the Eastern Catholic Churches which are NOT Schismatic. Big difference.

ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm
 
40.png
BobCatholic:
That is not about the Schismatic Eastern Orthodox Churches, but about the Eastern Catholic Churches which are NOT Schismatic. Big difference.
There is indeed a big difference, but as far as I can tell, you are the first person to bring up Eastern Rite Catholics. Everyone else is talking about the schismatic Eastern Orthodox churches.
 
40.png
Ichthus:
Nope, the marriage would be invalid and sinful
The marriage would be illicit (i.e., sinful), but it would be valid, as the exception contained in Canon 1127 §1 allows.
40.png
Ichthus:
Two protestants or two Orthodox marry validily without canonical form as canonical form binds Catholics only.
Two Orthodox (or even one Orthodox for that matter) require their own Orthodox canonical form to marry validly.
 
That is not about the Schismatic Eastern Orthodox Churches, but about the Eastern Catholic Churches which are NOT Schismatic. Big difference.
Read the canon again:

Nevertheless, if a Catholic party contracts marriage with a non-Catholic party of an Eastern rite, the canonical form of the celebration must be observed for liceity only; for validity, however, the presence of a sacred minister is required and the other requirements of law are to be observed.
Two Orthodox (or even one Orthodox for that matter) require their own Orthodox canonical form to marry validly.
From the Catholic perspective, this isn’t so, since schismatic bishops do not have any actual authority to establish norms and disciplines. If an Orthodox married a Protestant before some secular judge, the marriage, from a Catholic standpoint, is still sacramental and valid.
 
40.png
DominvsVobiscvm:
If an Orthodox married a Protestant before some secular judge, the marriage, from a Catholic standpoint, is still sacramental and valid.
You’ve come up with an excellent example to cut directly to the heart of the matter. However, in this example, the marriage is invalid due to lack of canonical form, and a decree of nullity could qiuckly and easily be obtained from a Catholic tribunal based on documentary evidence alone.

This time, the relevant canon law is from the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium:
Canon 780 §1 Even if only one party is Catholic, the marriage of Catholics is governed not only by divine law but also by canon law, without prejudice to the competence of civil authority concerning the merely civil effects of marriage.
§2 Marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic is governed, with due regard for divine law, also by:
1º the law proper to the Church or ecclesial community to which the non-Catholic belongs, if that community has its own matrimonial law;
2º the law to which the non-Catholic is subject, if the ecclesial community to which the person belongs has no matrimonial law of its own.
Canon 781 If sometimes the Church must pronounce a judgment about the validity of a marriage between baptized non-Catholics:
1º regarding the law to which the parties were subject at the time of their wedding, can. 780, §2 is to be observed;
2º regarding the form of marriage celebration, the Church recognizes any form prescribed or admitted by the law to which the parties were subject at the time of their wedding provided that the consent was expressed publicly and, if at least one of the parties is a baptized member of an Eastern non-Catholic Church, the marriage was celebrated with a sacred rite.
 
Canon 780 §1 Even if only one party is Catholic, the marriage of Catholics is governed not only by divine law but also by canon law, without prejudice to the competence of civil authority concerning the merely civil effects of marriage.
§2 Marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic is governed, with due regard for divine law, also by:
1º the law proper to the Church or ecclesial community to which the non-Catholic belongs, if that community has its own matrimonial law;
2º the law to which the non-Catholic is subject, if the ecclesial community to which the person belongs has no matrimonial law of its own.
Woah! :eek:

According to this, even if a Protestant’s own denomination imposed some sort of requirement (i.e. being married in a church, or before a minister), the Protestant himself must adhere to these requirements in order for the marriage to be valid!

Since when do Protestant ministers have authority to establish these laws, and have them be binding?!?!?!?!

I’m more confused than ever.
 
40.png
DominvsVobiscvm:
Woah! :eek:



I’m more confused than ever.
It is very confusing. There were rumors a few years ago that the Vatican was going to clarify some of these issues, but I haven’t seen anything on this lately.
40.png
DominvsVobiscvm:
Since when do Protestant ministers have authority to establish these laws, and have them be binding?!?!?!?!
They don’t; only the Orthodox (and other schismatic Eastern Churchs) do.

There are two Codes of Canon Law in the Catholic Church: one for the Latin Rite, and one for the Eastern Rites. The problem comes in when those codes contain different provisions for non-Catholics, as in the present matter. So far, the canon lawyers have dealt with this by treating Protestants as Latin Rite non-Catholics, while treating Eastern Orthodox as Eastern Rite non-Catholics.

The Latin Code does not acknowledge non-Catholic marriage law, so Protestants cannot claim lack of canonical form as grounds for annulment. (In practice, I think this only affects Anglicans.)
 
I’m wondering why, if neither party to the marriage practices their faith, would either of the two churches perform such a marriage. :confused:

“Off to the civil authorities with you, until you learn the meaning of sacrament.”

Performing a marrriage ceremony for those who do not practice their faith, reduces the sacrament to a mere social event.
 
So my question still is:

Why does the Catholic Church recognize schismatic Churches’ rites as binding on said Churchs’ members?
 
40.png
DominvsVobiscvm:
So my question still is:

Why does the Catholic Church recognize schismatic Churches’ rites as binding on said Churchs’ members?
Good question. This weekend, I will try to look up what the PCCICOR (the Pontifical Commission that drafted the CCEO) had to say on this point.
 
40.png
Catholic2003:
40.png
DominvsVobiscvm:
So my question still is:

Why does the Catholic Church recognize schismatic Churches’ rites as binding on said Churchs’ members?
Good question. This weekend, I will try to look up what the PCCICOR (the Pontifical Commission that drafted the CCEO) had to say on this point.
It’s from Unitatis Redintegratio:
  1. Already from the earliest times the Eastern Churches followed their own forms of ecclesiastical law and custom, which were sanctioned by the approval of the Fathers of the Church, of synods, and even of ecumenical councils. Far from being an obstacle to the Church’s unity, a certain diversity of customs and observances only adds to her splendor, and is of great help in carrying out her mission, as has already been stated. To remove, then, all shadow of doubt, this holy Council solemnly declares that the Churches of the East, while remembering the necessary unity of the whole Church, have the power to govern themselves according to the disciplines proper to them, since these are better suited to the character of their faithful, and more for the good of their souls. The perfect observance of this traditional principle not always indeed carried out in practice, is one of the essential prerequisites for any restoration of unity.
 
40.png
DominvsVobiscvm:
As far as marriage is concerned, the Orthodox are no different from Protestants. This is because, in and of itself, the sacrament does not require a priest to affect its validity. The ministers of Matrimony are not the ordained priest, but the bride and groom.
Actually the Orthodox theology of the Sacrament of Matrimony (they refer to Holy MYsteries rather than Sacraments) IS much different from that of the Western Church. You are quite correct that the sacramental theology of the West, with regard to marriage, regards the bride and groom as the ministers who “make” the marriage, and the Church and its designated minister (Priest) the ones who observe and officially bless what has already happened by action of the ministers (i.e. bride and groom).

However, the Eastern Orthodox Churches do NOT believe the bride and groom are the ministers - the Priest and the Church make the marriage happen. It is a good bit different. A friend of mine who is an Orthodox priest whose daughter got married made a farily lengthy explanation of it to some of us. He understands the difference in the theology since he was a Western priest prior to becoming Eastern Orthodox.

Very interesting differences.

Charis kai eirene! 🙂
 
I have a Greek Orthodox friend whose son married an Irish Catholic woman last week in a Catholic wedding. They are now on honeymoon in Greece and upon their return they will have a Greek Orthodox wedding.

Ethnic and religious pride running strong on both sides of the aisle. Bride of course got first rights on the wedding. Can’t wait see what they will do if and when children arrive. 🙂
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top